red currant meringue tart

July 20, 2012

When life presents you with a bucket of freshly picked red currants you know it is time to get your bake on, or your egg white whipping skills on, or your butter and flour on, because a bucket is a lot of red currants and they aren’t going to eat themselves.

I will admit that before my visit to Prague I had only had red currants a handful of times and those times had happened oh so long ago that I’d actually forgotten how good they are!

Tangy, sweet and bright red – red currants are the perfect summer fruit. They are also absolutely perfect in a meringue tart.

The first task at hand is to remove the berries from their stems. This whole bucket of red currants came from about one quarter of one bush. Red currants grow like they just don’t care.

Next get working on the crust. The base of this tart is a sweet buttery shortbread crust. The sweetness in the crust balances out the tartness of the berries.

Oh – and just in case you were wondering, that little packet up there is baking powder. :)

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt then add the softened butter and mix until combined. Add the yolks and vanilla and stir until a soft dough forms.

Look at that all that beautiful butter and sugar! Love.

We are making an easy town tart so press the dough right into the pan. I had a pie pan on hand but you can use a springform pan or a tart pan. Prick the crust all over with a fork and pop it into an oven preheated to 350.

While the crust is baking, let’s get our meringue on.

First, stir together the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. In a medium bowl begin whipping the egg whites with about a tablespoon of the sugar/cornstarch mixture and a pinch of salt. Keep on whipping until soft peaks form. This should take about 2-3 minutes.

In several additions slowly add the remaining sugar/cornstarch until the meringue is glossy and holds its shape. Finally, gently fold in the red currants. Pour over the warm crust and bake for about 15 minutes.

Look at that easy summertime tart you just made. Don’t have red currants? Try raspberries! Or huckleberries!

Most importantly, this tart is best served with afternoon coffee.

Red Currant Meringue Tart
Makes one 9-inch tart

For the crust:
1 1/2 cup (187 grams) flour
1/4 cup (55 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1 stick (1/2 cup or 113 grams) butter, softened
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the filling:
2 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (110 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) corn starch
2 cups (250 grams) red currants, rinsed, removed from their stems and well-dried

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the softened butter and mix until combined. Stir in egg yolks and vanilla until a soft dough forms. Press evenly into a 9-inch pie pan, springform pan, or tart pan and prick all over with a fork. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is lightly brown and cooked through.

While the crust is baking – make the meringue.

Combine the sugar and corn starch together in a small bowl. In a medium bowl begin whisking the egg whites, a pinch of salt and about a tablespoon of the sugar/cornstarch mixture. Beat for 2-3 minutes or until soft peaks form. Slowly, in several additions, add the remaining sugar/cornstarch to the egg whites until the mixture is glossy and holds its shape. Gently fold in the red currants. Immediately pour the meringue over the warm crust and bake the tart for about 15 minutes or until the top has browned slightly.

Let cool slightly and serve.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa | Being a Bear July 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm

That is so gorgeous. I love that the currants are mixed into the meringue instead of under it, so you can see their petite awesomeness.

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Riley July 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Wow, so pretty! It looks wonderful, and those currants are so cute!

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Katie July 20, 2012 at 5:18 pm

What a great idea! I saw all the red currants at the farmers’ market this weekend and wasn’t sure what to do with them. This would be a fantastic way to use them.

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Eileen @ Ham Pie Sandwiches July 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm

That tart looks beautiful–and sounds easy to boot! We definitely don’t get many currants here in CA. but I bet the local raspberries and blueberries would be delicious. :)

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Cheri @ The Watering Mouth July 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm

I’m ashamed to say that before this post, I wouldn’t have been able to pick a red currant out of a lineup…well, unless that lineup was like apples, bananas, oranges and red currants….then I’d probably be successful. But you know what I mean. ;) Thanks for sharing!

xoxo
Cheri

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Sue/the view from great island July 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm

I wanted to buy the gorgeous wild currents at the farmer’s market but they are $6 for a little teeny box! I’m so envious of your quarter bush’s worth! This is a lovely tart..can you recommend a substitute berry, maybe raspberry?

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Lillie July 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm

raspberries or huckleberries (also known as wild blueberries) would be wonderful substitutes!

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Katka July 24, 2012 at 8:19 am

This tart is one of my favourite, I make the same one myself! And since I’m from the Czech Republic (and we have a lot of red currant here), I wonder how come you bake from Czech ingredients. It’s really funyn to see them in these pictures.

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Lillie July 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I was visiting Prague and baked the tart while I was there but it was fun to use Czech ingredients!

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Lucia July 25, 2012 at 11:55 am

I love it!!

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Rose Taylor {Cake Recipes from Scratch} July 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm

love wild currents… they are my favorite. and your recipe is amazing. I really like the step by step directions

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ally August 3, 2012 at 6:30 am

just discovered your blog after reading 2012 best food blogs and I have to say I just love your recipes! And I am actually off to Prague in 5 hours :D so I will definitely be on the look out for red-currants! I will attempt this tart next week when I am back home and I would love to post the recipe on my online magazine http://www.amazine.com !
Better start packing! thanks for the fab recipe!

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Valentina August 13, 2012 at 4:52 am

wow, what a beautiful tart. i wish life would present me with a bucket full of fresh, red currants! yum!

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Jodi July 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I just made this today – we planted currant bushes three summers ago and this is our first full crop – and it was great! I think my meringue might have puffed a little more if it weren’t so humid, but the tart was still very pretty and tasted wonderful.

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Lillie July 18, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Hooray! That’s amazing and I’m so happy to hear that the tart was enjoyed – and made even better through home grown currants!

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Sue July 22, 2013 at 10:07 am

My redcurrant bush here in London is so plentiful this year and made a very similar tart to this one. The only real change was that it included 1+1/2 tsp lemon zest in the pastry which added an extra depth of flavour. A fab tart which I will make again

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Lillie August 30, 2013 at 10:35 am

So happy to hear that it was enjoyed Sue! Happy baking!

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